After about bristles years, we assuredly accept an acknowledgment to the best frequently asked catechism in Edmonton: What will it booty to get Steve Tambellini accursed as accepted manager?
The answer, apparently: an Edmonton Oilers aggregation that teased for a playoff atom afore coast into late-season embarrassment; a aggregation accepting booed off the ice by home fans; accepting brilliant amateur Taylor Hall boring morph into Ryan Miller in his bathetic postgame assessments; accepting defenseman Nick Schultz calling his teammates “selfish”; and, aloft all else, accepting a applicant for his backup accepting been clean-cut and cat-and-mouse in the wings.
To that end, the Edmonton Oilers accursed Tambellini on Monday, a attenuate in-season canning that ends his administration that started in 2008 and ends after a playoff appearance.
The man he replaced, admiral of hockey operations Kevin Lowe, will name above Oilers abundant and above drillmaster Craig MacTavish as the new GM with above Dejected Jackets GM Scott Howson abiding to the alignment a in MacTavish’s above role as chief VP of hockey operations.
So, yeah, not absolutely a adventurous move alfresco the Oilers’ abundance area on this one. But that doesn’t beggarly it won’t work.
From Jonathan Willis’s appraisal of MacTavish from June 2012:
What has this applicant done that makes him accreditation consideration? MacTavish is clear and intelligent, but the cardinal one account in his favour is the accord he has with the accommodation makers in Edmonton. Kevin Lowe is the admiral of hockey operations; he and MacTavish accept been a bike for best of the aftermost two decades, as teammates and afresh as managers. MacTavish is additionally rumoured to be aing with Oilers’ buyer Daryl Katz. Beyond that, he does accept continued acquaintance in the d as a amateur and a coach.
MacTavish additionally spent his two years abroad from the d earning an controlling MBA in business from Queen’s University, giving him an educational accomplishments added absorbing than abounding ex-players.
The acquaintance affair is the bigger one adverse MacTavish, but he did get to cut his teeth during this truncated approved season. He’s additionally amidst by adept hockey ops guys … for bigger or worse.
Some ability say “worse.”
Tambellini was a abortion as GM, but was allotment of an all-embracing authoritative aggregation that contributed to that failure. Which is a ambagious way of allurement if any GM – let abandoned one one best and clean-cut as MacTavish was – can accomplish if Kevin Lowe is the still the ultimate up or bottomward vote?
Is it absolutely administration change if Kevin Lowe is larboard standing? If the guy that’s overseen two quarterfinals appearances and a accident post-lockout Cup run in 2006, aback demography over 13 years ago, is still in charge?
Is it absolutely administration change if the new faces are old faces, like a above adept drillmaster and an abettor GM from 2002-07?
Look, we’re not adage the Oilers are recycling a bit too abundant here, but it wouldn’t abruptness us if they collection a Prius …
But maybe Lowe doesn’t charge to go. Maybe Tambo was the problem. And maybe MacTavish will accomplish the affiance Oilers admirers like Copper and Dejected accept he has as a non-traditional hockey ops voice:
I’ve generally complained that administration cadre in the NHL are woefully defective of the accomplishments and abilities all-important to run a all-embracing business like a multi-million dollar pro sports franchise. A cogent cardinal of bodies aural administration accept little added than an adequation amount others accept a distinct able accomplishment — they accept a claimed accord with addition aural the administration of the authorization that they are alive for. Craig MacTavish does not ache from the aforementioned problem.
MacTavish understands what it takes to advance non-pedigreed players into outscoring NHL players. Under his watch, Fernando Pisani, and Shawn Horcoff developed into bonafide NHL outscorers admitting accepting pedigrees that affiliated them added to a third-line apache role. Horcoff, in fact, credits his success to MacTavish.
The assignment at duke for MacTavish couldn’t be clearer. The Oilers charge to acquisition animality and able two-way players to antithesis their atomic adolescent amount — and, in fact, accede trading one of those basal players to get them. They charge to add a accepted stud or two to the dejected line. They charge to accomplish a final appraisal of the goaltending position, and whether Devan Dubnyk can be a reliable starter.
To that end, the aboriginal three fates MacTavish will accept to determine: Those of Ales Hemsky, Sam Gagner and the Oilers’ first-round pick, all of whom can accompany to this agenda what it needs.
They’re accepting aing to contention, but Edmonton will be aback in the action afresh this season.
With the aggregation of adolescent aptitude on the agenda accessible to ripen, and defective alone a few key pieces to transform into a contender, their new accepted administrator aloof acceptable won one of his own.
Ask Stan Bowman and Ray Shero how that goes.
Of course, Jonathan Toews and Sidney Crosby ability accept had article to do with that success. And the Oilers, admitting their talent, abridgement that affectionate of assured leadership.
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